DCMIP2016: the splitting supercell test case

C. M. Zarzycki, C. Jablonowski, J. Kent, P. H. Lauritzen, R. Nair, K. A. Reed, P. A. Ullrich, D. M. Hall, M. A. Taylor, D. Dazlich, R. Heikes, C. Konor, D. Randall, X. Chen, L. Harris, M. Giorgetta, D. Reinert, C. Kühnlein, R. Walko, V. LeeA. Qaddouri, M. Tanguay, H. Miura, T. Ohno, R. Yoshida, S.-H. Park, J. B. Klemp, W. C. Skamarock

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    This paper describes the splitting supercell idealized test case used in the 2016 Dynamical Core Model Intercomparison Project (DCMIP2016). These storms are useful test beds for global atmospheric models because the horizontal scale of convective plumes is O(1 km), emphasizing non-hydrostatic dynamics. The test case simulates a supercell on a reduced-radius sphere with nominal resolutions ranging from 4 to 0.5 km and is based on the work of Klemp et al. (2015). Models are initialized with an atmospheric environment conducive to supercell formation and forced with a small thermal perturbation. A simplified Kessler microphysics scheme is coupled to the dynamical core to represent moist processes. Reference solutions for DCMIP2016 models are presented. Storm evolution is broadly similar between models, although differences in the final solution exist. These differences are hypothesized to result from different numerical discretizations, physics–dynamics coupling, and numerical diffusion. Intramodel solutions generally converge as models approach 0.5 km resolution, although exploratory simulations at 0.25 km imply some dynamical cores require more refinement to fully converge. These results can be used as a reference for future dynamical core evaluation, particularly with the development of non-hydrostatic global models intended to be used in convective-permitting regimes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)879-892
    Number of pages14
    JournalGeoscientific Model Development
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2019


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